Here at DRIVEN, we obviously dote on motorized means of transportation, but true to the nature of the site, we appreciate all beautiful things that are built for speed.

So we suggest picking up a copy of The Racing Bicycle: Design, Function, Speed, a cool new book by Richard Moore and Daniel Benson from Universe.

The machines featured in the volume have become cult objects taken as seriously as motorcycles, with much the same degree of design and craftsmanship involved in their creation.

Moore and Benson spotlight the 50 greatest racing bike brands with sections focusing on signature details, technological advances and historical development.

Bianchi, Cinelli, Campagnolo, Cannondale, Shimano—the names are evocative even to those who have never ridden one, a testament to their power as design objects.

As with all of Universe’s lavish titles, the photography is impressive, and while the tight focus on details like gears, shifters, brakes, cranks and handlebars that make all the difference to enthusiasts might not appeal to some, from as aesthetic point of view, they are well worth perusing.

The archival images are more to our taste, like the one at top of Gino Bartali in 1948.

Bartali, a war hero, was the most renowned Italian cyclist of his day, having won the Giro d’Italia three times and the Tour de France in 1938.

Of course, those were the days when champion cyclists still looked dashing and not like sick-making mobile billboards…